“Why do I still suck?” It’s a common question. One that I’ve been answering for far too many years! Despite the negative connotation, there is a positive to the question if you’re asking it–you care about your progress.
I generally answer with another question: “But do you suck?”
Yes, training was really difficult and it almost feels like your first week of training, every week! Take a moment to reflect on where you’re at, though. Would you have been able to complete that week of training with that technique and intensity three months ago? No, even if you’ve already been training with us for five years.
You are fitter now than you were three months ago. That means you’re able to do more work for a given amount of time, and it sucks when you’re doing that. It’s uncomfortable and it hurts. You aren’t going backwards, you’re just able to push yourself more.
Our programming is also progressive by design. That means it gets progressively more challenging–more load, more reps, more technical. Just one year ago I couldn’t program strict pull-ups for the L1 (fitness-base) track of our programming. Now, I have to!
I won’t let you adapt to the stimulus. Everytime you feel like you’re starting to “get there,” I’ll hand you a simple rowing and sled workout that will have you on your ass in less than 5 minutes. And that’s when you might feel like you’re going backwards, or that you still suck. You aren’t, it’s harder because you’re fitter.
There’s also something really cool that’s driving your improvement. Greg Glassman, the founder of CrossFit, said that “the magic is in the movement.” He was referring to the movements we program. But I also think that the magic is in the people. The people are uplifting–they push you to be better.
So no, you don’t suck and you aren’t going backwards. Unless of course you’re eating shit, not sleeping, and scaling poorly in training.
This outlook requires a shift in mindset. Reflect on the good instead of focusing on what doesn’t feel so good. Be grateful for what you are able to do instead of focusing on what you ‘can’t’ do yet.